Meet Famina Bi: Forward Artist

Ikon interviews artist Famina Bi, who participates in Forward: New Art from Birmingham, to hear more about her intricate pattern-based mixed media work and how she uses art as a platform to open up dialogues.

Follow this series of blog posts to hear more from artists exhibiting work in Forward. Ikon has also produced interviews, filmed at the artists’ studios, which will be released over the course of the exhibition. You can find them on our YouTube channel here.

Can you introduce yourself and give us an overview of your practice?

Hi I’m Famina, a Birmingham based fine artist also known as @freehandfanatic. I create work revolving around intricate patterns and forms, dabbling in various mediums from paint, ink, print making, installation and recently photography. I love to mix analogue and digital techniques within my work; I tie in ideas of women, religion, society and faith in my practice. I use art as a vehicle to open up dialogue, a platform to engage in conversations to educate and challenge misconceptions and stereotypes.

Famina Bi, image courtesy the artist.

What have you chosen to exhibit in Forward: New Art from Birmingham and why?

My 2 colour screen print FABULOUS is a quirky representation of freedom of expression. It challenges the stereotypical idea of veiled women and Islamophobia. I love to play with solid forms alongside intricate details, I draw all my patterns free hand and then develop them further into images that are later screen printed by hand. The pop of colour is the realisation and celebration of being able to express yourself as you wish and that’s FABULOUS. The reason I chose to exhibit this piece is because it syncs in nicely with another current exhibition I’m taking part in Ways of Belonging at Midlands Arts Centre curated by Ort Gallery, so go check that out too!

Famina Bi, details of FABULOUS, screen print. Image courtesy the artist.

What’s it like being an artist in Birmingham, and how do you see art changing and moving forward here?

Birmingham is amazing for creativity, it’s constantly changing and there is so much talent and opportunities here. It’s really helped develop my work and build relationships with arts organisations as well as the wider community. Living and making with people from so many different walks of life really has an impact on me as an artist, constantly challenging and pushing me, its exciting!

Famina Bi, #SorryNotSorry (2019), Ways of Belonging, Midlands Arts Centre Birmingham (2019). Image courtesy the artist.

Connect with Famina Bi on Instagram and visit her website.

Forward: New Art from Birmingham is a group exhibition, including work by approximately twenty five artists, living and working in this city, to highlight the depth and vitality of a wide range of practices. Taking place in Medicine, the old gallery space of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, from which sprang the young generation that founded Ikon more than 50 years ago, it couldn’t be more in keeping with their progressive ethos, still informing our artistic programme to this day.

Open 23 January — 24 March 2019. Entry is free, open daily 10am-5pm, at Medicine Bakery and Gallery. 69 New Street, Birmingham B2 4DU. Please note Medicine Bakery is only accessible via a steep staircase.

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